Submitted by the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC
Lily Hall has always been interested in martial arts. Her mother, Hollie, reached out to CPABC after seeing a Facebook post about the “Self-Defense Without Limits” program. With the approval of private lessons, Lily began to enjoy learning martial arts. She continues to attend classes on a weekly basis, health permitting. CPABC’S funding worked as a springboard for her! Hollie says that this was an “excellent opportunity to try it out and [Lily] loves it.” The family had no idea such a program existed and therefore never considered martial arts as a form of therapy for Lily.
Due to the extreme weakness Lily holds in her right arm and leg, and the use of a wheelchair, martial arts seemed to be out of the question. For Lily, the outcomes of this program proved to be more positive than anyone imagined they would be.
Hollie credits the classes with helping Lily walk short distances without the need of her wheelchair. With some help, Lily is able to use the stairs better, as well. Hollie says that Lily prefers to participate in the martial arts classes over traditional physiotherapy. As explained by the instructor, the physical benefits of martial arts can improve one’s coordination, it can help with balance and strength and it can improve dexterity. Lily is an example of these improvements! According to Lily, the reasons why the martial arts lessons work so well for her is because the lessons push her a little bit but not to the point that she's in pain from them. But at the end of the day, it’s not just the physical benefits that can be taken away from the self-defense program.
According to Hollie, "[the self-defense] program has helped [Lily] regain confidence, strength, perseverance and concentration," and therefore calls it "a win, win!" Hollie is thankful for the positive impact martial arts has made on her daughter’s life. Hollie leaves us with this: "Without this funding, we would have never done the classes and I'm sure Lily's recovery would not be where it is today."
Lily advises everyone to "give it a try!", no matter their predisposed notion on martial arts. The positive relationship Lily has with her instructor in conjunction with the positive outcomes it has on her mental, physical and emotional state motivates her to keep coming back. Lily’s radiant positivity is an inspiration to everyone to live a Life Without Limits.